The Best Drywall Primers For New Drywall – Buying Guide 2024

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Painting a freshly installed drywall can be a challenging task, given its soaking capability. Thus, it would be ideal to opt for a high-quality drywall primer to add a smooth texture to the wall.

 Ever wondered why your neighbors' walls look decently pigmented without any patches? They probably have used a thick coat of drywall primers before painting. 

Apart from eliminating patchy wall color, a primer can promote extra adhesion to surfaces, soak up less color while painting, prevent the paints from flaking and help cover surface stains and odors. With such exciting benefits, we highly recommend using a good-quality primer for your drywall. But finding a good primer is not as easy as it sounds.

Therefore, we have taken it upon ourselves to help you find the best primer for your walls. Follow us as we walk you through five of the best drywall primers on the market.

Top 5 Drywall Primers For New Drywall

RUST-OLEUM 01500 Drywall Primer
Zinsser 01501 Drywall Primer
Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Drywall Primer  

KILZ Restoration Drywall Primer
KILZ Premium Drywall Primer

#1 Winner: RUST-OLEUM 01500 Drywall Primer

●      Manufacturer: Rust-oleum

●      Volume: 5 Gallon

●      Color: White 

●      Paint Type: Watercolor

●      Finish Type: Matte

Everyone loves a basic drywall primer that works effectively and saves you big bucks during the process. This Rust-oleum 01500 Drywall Primer fits the description exactly.

This water-based formula works excellent on all drywall and ceilings, so the wall doesn't soak up a lot of paint and give uneven patches.


●      This drywall primer comes in a secure 5-gallon bucket for easy use. Such 5-gallon buckets can be highly efficient when working on more elaborate projects.

●      It's extremely simple and easy to use. Painters do not have to go through extensive steps to get the priming started. You can open the tub, mix the contents well and start applying the next moment.

●      The primer is manufactured in the USA and has gone through rigorous quality control checks during the manufacturing process. You can buy the product without worrying about the quality.

●      Its water-based formula is straightforward to clean up. You can also clean the product with soap and water in case of any need or urgency.

●      Painters can sand this Rust-oleum 01500 Drywall Primer easily to create a smoother surface for painting. The bumps and uneven textures can be easily buffed away with a light grit.

●      Users can choose any paint delivery system according to their choice. This product is highly compatible with a pad, roller, brush, or sprayer.

●      This product dries to touch within 30 minutes and seals the surface for painting in a mere one hour. 


One major drawback of this primer is its viscosity. This Rust-oleum 01500 Drywall Primer is on a thinner side. The product is bound to splatter everywhere if you use a sprayer machine for the job.

Extra Features 

This product has a comparatively low odor than all the other primers on the market. This paint is highly suitable for people with sensitive noses and allergies. The color even dries clean and doesn't leave any harsh chemical-filled odors behind.

Buying Advice 

We highly recommend this drywall primer if you're looking for a good quality product from a reputed brand. The paint gives excellent coverage, helping you get an even paint coat on your walls.

#2 Runner-up: Zinsser 01501 Drywall Primer

●      Manufacturer: ‎Rust-Oleum 

●      Volume: 1 Gallon

●      Color: White

●      Paint Type: Watercolor

●      Finish Type: Matte

The Zinsser 01501 Drywall Primer is our runner-up product because of its sheer quality and hold.

The product comes in one gallon can and gives a matte finish after it dries down. Painters can scrub away the product with extreme ease for a sleek and plain wall.


●      This one-gallon Zinsser 01501 Drywall Primer is a great product to use for a single wall or room, depending on the size of the area. The handy container is easy to open and store, which makes it  perfect for space-starved apartments or construction properties.

●      This product is made and manufactured in the United States to keep its quality up to the mark. Buyers who always buy American-made products shouldn't hesitate to purchase this specific product for their paint job.

●      Zinsser 01501 Drywall Primer is ideal for sealing drywall. The product is manufactured as a dedicated primer for any drywall paint project.

●      The primer is simple to use and does not require vast labor to finish work. It also doesn't require various new paint equipment to start with the process. 

●      The primer is excellent and would not raise the nap on your new drywall. You will always be greeted with smooth and bump-free walls after the product's application.

●      The water-based formula is straightforward to clean up, and you do not have to worry about staining your floors and other furniture in the house.

●      Primers are notoriously famous for having a relatively high drying time, but this particular primer can seal the surfaces for painting within an hour. 


Many customers noted that the product is comparatively thinner and does not provide excellent coverage on the first coat. Buyers may need to opt for a well-saturated two coats to get a clean base for the paint to stick on.

Extra Features  

●      This drywall primer has an extremely low odor;  the application process doest feel suffocating. The primer dries without leaving behind any foul odors and chemical smells.

●      Another extra feature that caught our eye is its fast-drying technology. Painters can use this product to get a clean and clear coat without wasting much time waiting for the primer to dry.

Buying Advice 

If you are searching for an essential primer for your new drywall, we highly recommend this product. You can easily use the primer in poorly ventilated rooms because of its low-odor feature.

#3 Alternative: Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Drywall Primer

●      Manufacturer: ‎Rust-Oleum

●      Volume: 0.25 Gallons

●      Color: White

●      Paint Type: Enamel

●      Finish Type: Matte

This Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Drywall Primer is a premium heavy-duty product that you can use for various indoor and outdoor projects.

Zinsser's effective formulas are perfect for all types of paint jobs, be it private or commercial.


●      This Zinsser 02004 Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Drywall Primer is an excellent product to use for various interior and exterior purposes.

●      The water-based formula seals the open pores of the drywall and sticks to its surface for a long time. One does not have to worry about sanding the area before this primer application.

●      Users can start their topcoat process within one hour of its application. The product, however, dries to the touch in mere 35 minutes. One quart can easily cover approximately 87-112 sq. ft. 

●      This product also has a remarkable stain-blocking resistance which can be easily paired with any latex or oil-based topcoat.

●      This primer can also seal smelly odors while drying to a bright matte finish, apart from blocking the stains.

●      The primer seals tannin bleed and highly resists mildew and mold growth. The formula is highly breathable, flexible, and resists peeling or blistering. 


●      When paired with a sprayer, this primer tends to fizz out, making a bubbly mess. Users cannot get a smooth application because the product doesn't spritz uniformly. Apart from that, the primer jams up and clogs the nozzle very soon.

●      This primer doesn't perform well when paired with smooth surfaces like metal or wood. A little scratch test further proves how easy it is to scratch out the primer in one stroke.

Extra Features 

Its main feature is that it can be used on multi-surface. The paint adheres to various surfaces, including glossy tiles and enameled trim. This primer also inhibits rust on new metals.

Buying Advice 

This product will indeed come in handy when you have a lot of surfaces to treat during your painting project. A single product can prime various textures, thus saving you money and effort to buy different products.

#4 Alternative: KILZ Restoration Drywall Primer

●      Manufacturer: Masterchem Industries LLC

●      Volume: ‎1 Gallon

●      Color: White

●      Paint Type: Oil, Enamel

●      Finish Type: Matte

KILZ Restoration Drywall Primer is primarily known for its maximum odor and stain blocking performance.

This water-based primer is designed to perform like regular shellac or oil-based primers.


●      This KILZ Restoration primer is a complete water-based primer, stain blocker, and sealer that replicates the performance of traditional oil-based primers.

●      Buyers can use this product on glass, masonry, painted metal, stucco, wood, ceramic tile, brick, and lastly, on drywalls. The multiple surfaces make this product highly versatile and user-friendly.

●      This primer is compatible with a traditional brush, roller, or airless sprayer for quick yet neatly sprayed application.

●      One gallon of KILZ Restoration Latex Primer, Sealer, and Stain blocker can easily cover 300-400 square per foot. Users do not have to buy a lot of cans because, in this case, a little indeed goes a long way.

●      This product has a lower odor than most multiple surface primers. Apart from the smell, this product is highly non-combustible and non-flammable. You can store the product anywhere without worrying about any unwanted mishaps.

●      This water-based primer completely dries to the touch in 30 minutes, and you can initiate recoat in one hour of its application.

●      KILZ Restoration Drywall Primer offers super adhesion, especially on drywall. But you can clean the product with extreme ease with just a simple solution of soap and water. You can quickly wipe any extra sputters with a few swipes from a sponge. 


This product is a big no for people who are sensitive to smell. The product covers all the nasty smells in the first place but replaces it with a pungent chemical odor. 

Extra Features  

Its stain and odor resistance is a significant extra feature. The primer can quickly patch water stains and hide severe odors, including smoke, food, and pet odors.

Buying Advice 

We highly recommend this product for patching and covering solid smells in your house. The drywall primer works quite efficiently to hide water stains but you will have to pay attention while working on wet leaks as the product does not work for active leaks.

#5 Alternative: KILZ Premium Drywall Primer

●      Manufacturer: Masterchem Industries LLC

●      Volume: 1 Gallon

●      Color: White

●      Paint Type: Oil

●      Finish Type: Gloss

Our last alternative is the KILZ Premium Drywall Primer for a pronounced and more decadent wall feel.

The premium quality gives an excellent glossy finish that is more forgiving and smoother than regular matte finish primers.


●      This premium and powerful stain-blocking water-base formula carefully seals the surfaces to help achieve a nice uniform finish. The product is highly compatible with various indoor and outdoor projects.

●      The product contains mildewcide protection to prevent resurfacing of mold and mildew on your walls and damp corners.

●      Buyers can trust its excellent adhesion quality, ideal for drywall, bathrooms, masonry, wood, bricks, and much more.

●      One gallon KILZ Premium Latex Prime container can easily cover approximately 300-400 square feet of surface area.

●      This drywall primer can effectively block light to medium stains on your walls with a single coat.

●      Its low odor feature makes the application process easy. The product is safe for various indoor and outdoor spaces.


One very colossal drawback is the product's thickness. This KILZ Premium Drywall Primer can clog your sprayer within a few minutes of its application. The thickness can speed up the drying process, and you have a high chance of finding dried-up primer in the container after a few weeks.

Extra Features  

This Primer contains a few VOCs as compared to other standard drywall primers on the market. These Volatile Organic Compounds are harmful chemicals that can leak carbon-containing substances which vaporize at room temperatures. These are incredibly harmful to health, and people with sensitive systems should consider buying no VOC or zero VOC primers and paints. 

Buying Advice 

If your wall is a deep color or of any color other than white or cream, consider applying two coats for a more excellent finish. Ensure that the room is well ventilated to avoid smelling the fumes. 

Drywall Primer FAQs 

What primer should I use on new drywall? 

Painting new drywall is a fun task. However, priming it before painting is one of the most crucial parts of the process. The primer holds the paint on the drywall through weather changes and dust. To prime new drywall, you need a primer that specializes in adhesiveness, i.e., stickiness. Such primers are thick, so if there are a few kinks in your drywall mud, the primer will handle them and give you a smooth, luxurious finish. 

When looking for drywall primers, especially new drywall, be sure to buy high-adhesion and high-build primers. You can scan the market for such primers easily. Some primers have special abilities, for example, stain-blocking primers. You can discard these types of primers because you will not be blocking stains on fresh drywall.  

You can try Rust-Oleum Corporation Drywall Primer. It is a water-based primer that is easy to apply and quick to dry. It promises a  smooth finish within an hour of application. The primer also smells very little, allowing you to work nearby in peace. 

Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 is another fantastic product on the market. It is similar to the previous product we talked about and can give you the same smooth finish. The product is particularly great for new drywall or new concrete. The only cache - it is not a stain blocker.  

Can you use regular primer on new drywall? 

Yes, you can use regular primers on new drywall. Most primers in the market today are very similar, with the few exceptions of specialized primers. You can use most primers easily on new drywall. However, each of them will not give you the results you expect.  

We would suggest using a high-adhesion high-build primer for the new drywall. Why? The new drywalls you want to paint are fresh, i.e., they have never seen an ounce of paint. You have to prep these walls to accept and hold the color when applied. A primer does this job the best. It sits across drywalls comfortably and preps them to receive the paint. Since nothing will stick on new drywall, you need to use a primer that can act as an adhesive.  

You can use regular primer on fresh drywall, but its effect will not be the same as that of a high-build primer. You may not find your paint sticking to the wall all that much if you use regular primers. The only thing to remember is - use the primers according to the material of the surface. There are special primers for metal and wood surfaces. Using them on any drywall will not be the best decision. Additionally, you cannot use a stain-blocking primer for drywall because it is only meant to be used against stains. 

The best primers for drywalls are drywall primers. They seal the pores in the drywall and give you a canvas to lay your paint on. You can look for quick-drying primers for a fast job, but don't go around using the wrong surface primers.  

Is there a difference between drywall primer and regular primer? 

Yes, and no. Drywall primers are more like a subset of standard primers. Both types of primers have similar abilities, pros, and cons. So what makes them different? Well, drywall primer is specially marketed to be used on fresh drywall. Regular primers can be used just about anywhere with the same effect.  

A drywall primer is supposed to be used on fresh drywall to cover up pores. New drywall often has minute pores - holes - that can suck in air and prevent the paint from taking its place. To ensure that that does not happen, we have to use drywall primer. Drywall primer gives your wall a smooth finish from top to bottom. It also removes and blocks any pores in the wall. If you do not use a drywall primer before applying a coat of paint, you are only summoning your doom. You will have to keep applying layers and coats of paint till it holds its own in the wall.  

A regular primer, also called a PVA primer, is also used to block pores in drywalls. The PVA stands for polyvinyl acetate, a synthetic rubbery substance that is instrumental in sealing pores. Regular primer is an ideal choice for most surfaces. However, it cannot act as a stain blocker.  

So, what is the difference between regular primer and drywall primer? The marketing. The two products are practically the same, with small differences in their composition. You can use either a standard primer or a special drywall primer on drywall easily.  

How many layers of primer do I need for new drywall? 

Primer is one of the essentials of any paint job. They are instrumental in covering up and sealing the tiny pores in your fresh drywalls, giving the paint a surface to stick to. You cannot hope to have a smooth and appealing color on your walls without using the best primers available. So, how much primer do you apply on your drywall before it becomes a canvas for the wall paint? 

You will commonly need two coats of primer over fresh drywall before it is ready to be painted. The trick is to use primer liberally so that it is applied in thick layers. These thick layers will ensure that there are no pores left in the drywall. The layers will also be adhesive, allowing the paint to stick easily.  

Generally, fresh drywall is sealed in a single layer of primer. However, a second layer harms nobody. It helps the paint stick to the wall. If you are painting a light color over a white wall, you can use a single coat of high-adhesive and high-build primer before the paint. If you are looking to lay down paint over fresh new drywall, you should think about applying at least two layers of primers.  

There is a reason why fresh drywall needs more than a single layer - the first layer may seep into the surface of the drywall and may not be as effective. It is always best to apply two layers of primers. If you are reapplying paint over a previously colored wall, ensure you use at least three layers of primer before you paint over it. 


Buying a suitable drywall primer can be a perplexing task, but we hope our buyer's guide helped you select one perfect primer for your painting projects. We highly recommend opting for a pure drywall primer if you are working on just the walls. However, if you have multiple surfaces to prime, we recommend a multi-surface primer. Most importantly don't forget to sand and smooth the surface before applying any paint coat.

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Drew - CountrySilo


Co-Founder CountrySilo

Growing up around the farmlands of the Midwest you learn at an early age getting your hands dirty is a way of life. Whether it was helping my Grandpa make cedar furniture, mowing neighborhood lawns or throwing bails of hay the do-it-yourself mentality runs strong in our family.

I am excited to help you tackle your projects and discover new ways to make your house a home!

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